Harpist Catriona McKay may be best known for her role in Fiddler’s Bid and her duo with Chris Stout, another mainstay of the Shetland outfit, but she is also an innovative explorer of less well-travelled musical roads.
Free improvisation and electronic music are also a regular part of her activities, and this Tune Up tour will provide an opportunity to pull all of that together in an intriguing double bill with the Nils Økland trio.
She is joined by Chris Stout, pianist Phil Alexander, Swedish nyckelharpa player Olov Johansson and Alistair MacDonald’s live laptop electronics in Flöe, a project first heard at Celtic Connections as a New Voices commission in 2008, and will be using the chromatic harp made for her by Starfish harps in Ballachulish.
‘These are all musicians I had been working with at a very deep level, and bringing them together is very exciting. I set about trying to write material that would give all of them something to work on, and would also reflect my interpretation of their particular styles and strengths.’
Nils Økland was originally penciled in for the Flöe project, but couldn’t make the date, and Catriona has written a segment for him to play on the tour. The Norwegian fiddler is about to release a new solo album, Monograph, on the ECM label, but will lead his trio here.
Tolbooth, Stirling, Fri 6 Mar; Eastgate, Peebles, Sat 7 Mar; Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, Sun 8 Mar; St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow, Mon 9 Mar